- Last Will & Testament
- About Me
Francis Shellaker was baptised on 16th January 1689 in the parish church in Lyndon in the County of Rutland. The Will was written on 7th September 1760 when he was 71 years old. He was the youngest of the six children of Richard Shelacres & Elizabeth and remained unmarried until he died in 1776.. …….
Francis can bee seen on the far right, highlighted in gold, of the section of the family tree above and he was the brother of Richard Shelacres who was baptised in February 1686. This Richard Shelacres was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather and therefore Francis Shelacres was my great-great-great-great-great grand uncle.
Below is the Will of Francis Shellaker, the main part of which was written on 7th September 1760 by which time Francis had reached the age of 71 years. I have spilt this Will into sections with each section showing a copy of the original Will, followed by the transcribed text and then an explanation of the content of that section.
I FRANCIS SHELLAKER of Lyndon in Rutland do make
this my last will and testament. Recommending my soul into the hand
of God. I order that my Body be decently buried in the Churchyard
of Lyndon1 and that a Gravestone be set up at the end of my grave.
I give to my nephew RICHARD SHELLAKER 3 my house at Morcott 4
now in tenure of John Tomlyn, with the Beadhouse leys 5; an acre of
land in each field, and all the sheep, commons cow and horse commons
thereto belonging, and all outhouses and timber standing thereon; he pay-
ing to my execution twenty pounds to be distributed according to the
directions in this my Will. And I order that if he shall refuse or
neglect to pay the said twenty pound within a year after my death,
it shall be lawful for my executor to enter on the said house and land
and by lease or mortgage thereof to raise the abovementioned sum.6
1 Burial – The first stipulation in his Will was for his body to be buried in the churchyard in Lyndon. This wish were granted – within the parish record of the village is a record of his burial which took place on Wednesday 11th September 1776. The record can be seen below. Francis died around 16 years, to the week, after he made his Will.
2 Gravestone – Francis also request that a gravestone be placed on his grave. His gravestone can still be seen in the graveyard at Lyndon as can be seen from the photograph below, together with the inscription. His grave is next to that of his brother Thomas who died before reaching his second birthday in 1685 – over 90 years prior to Francis’ death.
In the same row of gravestone is the father of Francis and the infant Thomas, Richard Shellaker, who died in 1693 at the age of 42 years. The father Richard, and brother Thomas can be seen on the family tree at the top of this page.
3 Legacy to nephew Richard – The first mention of a legacy is to his nephew RICHARD, the son of his brother Richard. (He can be seen on the family tree at the end of section together with the others mentioned in this Will).
When Francis made his Will this nephew Richard was unmarried and was approaching the age of 30 years but he married three years later on Sunday 30th October 1763 in the church in Horninghold, a small village in county of Leicestershire lying around eleven miles south-west of Lyndon. At the time of his marriage Richard was living in that village as was his bride MARY MARSHAL. The village of Morcott is less than 10 miles from Horninghold. It appears Richard did not live in the house bequeathed to him by his uncle as records indicate he continued to live in Horninghold.
4 Morcott – This is a village in the county of Rutland located about seven miles south-east of Oakham. It is under three miles south of the village of Lyndon.
5 Beadhouse leys – I do not known the location of this area but at present I assume it is in our near the village of Morcott. The definition of a ‘Ley’ is a piece of land put down to grass, clover, etc., for a single season or a limited number of years, in contrast to permanent pasture. The word is from the Old English lǣge meaning ‘fallow’.
6 Conditional – The legacy made to Richard was on condition he paid the sum of twenty pounds to cover other legacy and failure to pay could result in action by the executor to make good this money.
Shellaker | Francis Shellaker, aged 86 was
buried September 11th
Francis Shellaker was buried in Lyndon churchyard. His gravestone still remain, although the inscription is now very difficult to read. It is located next to the gravestone of his father, Richard Shellaker and that of his brother Thomas who died just prior to his second birthday around four years before Francis was born.
Around 1999 I took a photograph of his grave and that of Richard and Thomas and noted the various inscriptions. This photograph is below together with one I’ve overlaid those inscriptions. The words for Francis read:
Leith the body of
who departed this life
SEPTEMBER 11th 1776
in the 87th year of his life.
The gravestone of Francis Shellaker is located against a wall under a Cedar Tree as indicated by the arrow
The Gravestone of FRANCIS SHELLAKER
Next Page: Further details of the Will of Francis Shellaker